Tea at 3 event: Whitbread’s water journey

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On 14th April 2021, Waterscan and Whitbread co-hosted a virtual Tea at 3 event.

This was for a privately invited group of senior sustainability, procurement and utilities managers from across the UK’s hospitality, leisure, retail, manufacturing and transport sectors.

While attendees tucked into a delicious cream tea, Whitbread’s Environment Manager, Yvonne Mason, and Energy Manager, Ross Greenhalgh, joined Waterscan’s Managing Director Neil Pendle and Account Manager Rebecca Gale to explain why water matters to Whitbread and what the company is doing to conserve this precious resource and secure business continuity.

Whitbread immediately engaged in the deregulated water market and maximised opportunities, becoming the third organisation in the UK to secure a licence to Self-Supply its water and wastewater services. Switching all its water supply points to Self-Supply has given Whitbread complete control over its water costs and consumption, saving some 180 Olympic sized swimming pools to date. It has gone on to achieve an excellent B- rating in its first scored water disclosure through the Carbon Disclosure Project.

Now, Whitbread has taken an industry leading position by integrating water into its annual environmental reporting and disclosure, and has its sights firmly set on building long-term operational resilience to water risk through a ground-breaking risk-mapping exercise.

Discover how Whitbread have moved from effective water management to industry-leading stewardship and resilience-based forward planning here.

Meeting attendees commented on the benefits of being able to hear about Whitbread’s journey first-hand, to understand the challenges Yvonne and Ross have tackled and to ask questions in this unique peer setting. The group discussion covered a wide range of topics including: how access to comprehensive, quality data has had a transformative impact on Whitbread’s approach to water, how data and KPIs are driving action across the business, and the impressive manner in which its senior leadership team is making water a part of its future business strategy and growth planning.

Reflecting on the meeting, Neil Pendle said: “Interest in this event was higher than even we had anticipated and the engagement from participants was outstanding. To me, this indicates that UK businesses are finally waking up to water. There seems to be a healthy appetite amongst sustainability-minded companies to understand the business risks and opportunities that engaging in water management presents, and this is most welcome.

I would like to thank our speakers, Yvonne and Ross, and all attendees for their time, and encourage further opportunities for peer-group conversations around the responsible use of water in commercial settings.”

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